John Kuri is a writer, musician, and filmmaker and is in-studio with Jim Sinicropi ahead of the It’s A Wonderful Life Festival in Seneca Falls to talk about his father’s role in creating the iconic holiday film.
John’s father, Emile Kuri, was born in Mexico and his parents had immigrated there from Lebanon. He won Oscars for his work in “The Heiress” with Montgomery Clift and Olivia DeHavilland and the Disney film “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
Kuri was the first person born in Mexico to receive an Academy Award. He also worked closely with Walt Disney on the creation of Disneyland. John also worked with his father at Disneyland.
It is quite amazing that a man of Lebanese ancestry who was born in Mexico was instrumental in creating two of the most iconic symbols of America — Bedford Falls and Disneyland. There is currently an exhibit on him in the It’s A Wonderful Life Museum in downtown Seneca Falls, NY.